Welcome to Musical Appreciation. Of all of the artists I’ve covered on Musical Appreciation, this is one that I have been looking forward to the most. Tupac Shakur. I don’t think I can say anything about Pac that hasn’t been said by other hip-hop enthusiasts. One of the most fascinating rappers to have ever lived. He isn’t the most lyrical rapper, but his delivery and his honesty is what makes Pac unique and stand out. Whether he’s addressing the plight of the black community or being a thug, his music appeals to a diverse audience. The legacy he leaves behind two decades after his death is immeasurable, which explains why many rappers afterwards have tried and failed to emulate his likeness. But Pac is one of those one-of-a-kind artists who can’t be recreated. He is as good as the hype would make you believe. Today’s Musical Appreciation is a look into his psyche and was made when he named himself Makaveli after the Italian philosopher Niccolò Machiavelli. This is Hail Mary.
Hail Mary was released 6 months after Pac’s death, which makes the song a bit haunting. The production sets the tone of the song with the ominous keys, church bells, and a restrained beat. Pac finds himself in a toxic cycle of death and violence and speaking to God, wondering when it’s gonna end. The song is littered with religious and Biblical references, many I don’t know of since I’m not a religious person. It’s a reflection that those who live in poor communities feel, like they’re in a maze with no way out with a corrupting darkness looming over them. For Pac, it was a look at what he was going through and how he felt. Ever since he was attacked at Quad Recording Studios in 1994, he was paranoid about the people around him. He believed that someone was going to come for him, which caused a shift in his music. The songs were more aggressive and confrontational while at the same time, more acceptive of death if it comes for him. Even in the music video, it shows Pac dying and coming back as a ghost. It was way too prophetic considering what would happen. For anyone who feels disenfranchised by their environment and are searching for a higher calling, Hail Mary is a song that they can apply to their lives. This kinda explains why a lot of famous rappers did covers to this song.
So that was Musical Appreciation. Next time, we’ll talk about Baba O’Riley.
SONGS OF THE WEEK
Breaking The Habit-Linkin Park
Shadow Of The Day-Linkin Park
Bleed It Out-Linkin Park